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🏞 A Summer Countdown
I started writing my novel five years ago. Until then, and though I have written on and off all my life, I never considered writing my one and only love. It was always a supplement, a hobby, a creative project, or what have you. Because it took me so long to understand how important writing was to me, I thought it was only fair that I had to now work with a vengeful, mercurial Muse who either never showed up or rewarded hours of sitting at the computer with a few paltry sentences.
I want to say that I’ve since completely unpacked the roots of my difficult relationship with writing and eliminated my perfectionism, procrastination, and limiting beliefs. But, to be honest, I still struggle with them.
Despite this, I have decided to finish my book this summer. Even as I type, a part of me is scoffing and saying unkind things while another part doesn’t even look up from her phone. That’s probably because she remembers I said the same thing last summer.
I wonder if a line runs through the middle of everything and if the secret to life lies in somehow straddling this line. This, of course, is the general concept behind the Buddhist Middle Way that guides us to avoid extremes. And that’s what is different about this year for me: I see the line in many places and I find myself drawn to it. For example, between light and shadow or between selfishness and selflessness. Straddling the line between working all the time and doing nothing at all might mean working hard and taking adequate time off. I remember wondering in my first Substack post“if there is a timing and a serial unfolding process to events in one's life, and one cannot simply push forward and through.” Is doing my best and letting go the middle way between thinking I can control everything versus thinking I can’t control anything? Now you can see the line that runs between fatalism and free will. No matter how many times someone says habits and discipline are the final answer to a writer’s problems, I continue to believe that, in living our lives and in creative pursuits, there are mysteries we engage with.
My plan for this summer is to work on finishing the book and accept that I don’t know what comes next- how much editing it will need, how to get it published, is it going to be a good book etc. I want to finish the book by the 15th of July because just completing the writing will be a huge, personal milestone. Which means this post is not just an announcement of a countdown but also an invocation to the mysteries!
Wish me luck!
My hope in sharing is to make myself accountable (deadline less than 7 weeks away!). I’d also love to hear from you :
1.Stop by to say hello!
Let me know if you are currently working on something. Is it a short summer project or a more long-term one? Is it a writing project or something else? Feel free to leave a link so I can visit and learn more about your work.
I’d love to know how you saw projects, books etc. to completion. What are some words of advice, tips etc you have for me?